Monday, January 31, 2011

The Business of Being Born

I finally watched a movie that had been recommended to me a long time ago by a friend -- "The Business of Being Born" -- and I thought I'd share my 2 cents about the whole thing.

If you want a quick snapshot of what the movie is about, click here for the trailer.

I liked it. I also liked "Pregnant in America," another documentary that follows along the same lines. I think they offer a really good, critical look at maternity care in the United States, especially compared to other western, industrialized societies. I think there are a lot of ways that we can (and SHOULD) improve maternity care and make it less of a "medical" procedure that needs to be treated in the hospital like an illness and more of a natural LIFE-giving process that ought to be monitored carefully and allowed to unfold the way God intended womens' bodies to do it.

I agree wholeheartedly with the makers of this film that a large percentage of "complications" associated with childbirth could potentially be avoided if doctors didn't start the cascading effects of medical induction/intervention that many times end up in cesarean rather than natural, vaginal delivery.

That said, I did not agree with the makers' sweeping assertions that all hospitals and OB/GYNs are in it for the money or are going to force you in to a labor and delivery that you did not want or intend. I, for one, have been VERY pleased with my completely natural, med-free deliveries with my OB at the hospital. I want a natural delivery with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that if, God forbid, the worst were to happen, I am within minutes of life-saving medical attention. Maybe I lucked out with my OB, who, as she says, "is very patient with natural labor and won't try to force things along that are not ready to happen." (she and I had this conversation shortly before James was born)

I will end this little commentary here, because it could drag on and on...and on. But I do find it interesting to note that both the makers of these 2 films, who began their films with the premise that doctors and the hospitals are NOT on their sides, ended up being rushed to the hospital after serious complications arose with their home-birth experiences.

That is not to say that I am always for hospital births or always for home births. To each his own. But I do think that it would be good for all parents to at least check these films out so that when the time comes for them to make decisions with regard to their own labor and delivery experiences they can make informed ones.

Let me know what you think!